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Peter Tregear

Peter Tregear is a performer, academic, and critic. He has recently been appointed the inaugural Director of Little Hall at the University of Melbourne. Published works include Ernst Krenek and the Politics of Musical Style (2013).  

'Candide: The best of possible productions' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 09 February 2024
What fortuitous programming it was by Victorian Opera to have a new production of Candide (1956) open just as interest in the composer of its delicious score peaks in the wake of Bradley Cooper’s biopic Maestro. Just as fortuitously, the production is a triumph; an auspicious start for incoming artistic director, Stuart Maunder. It makes as strong a case as one might for the value of opera compa ... (read more)

'Mozart and Beethoven Concertos: MCO’s conversation with the Viennese classics' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 10 October 2023
Sophie Rowell’s first year as Melbourne Chamber Orchestra’s Artistic Director continues to impress with its attractive and intelligent programming and strong musical leadership on stage. Finnish virtuoso and current Artistic Director of the Australian National Academy of Music, Paavali Jumppanen, provides the core of the orchestra’s latest offering by performing (and directing from the keyb ... (read more)

'Biographica: Finsterer and Wright’s opera reaches Melbourne' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 25 September 2023
Biographica, an opera in twelve scenes for one actor, five singers, and eleven musicians, was premièred to considerable acclaim by Sydney Chamber Opera at Carriageworks as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival. The creative team of composer Mary Finsterer and librettist Tom Wright subsequently had another success there with Antarctica as part of the Sydney Festival 2023; Finsterer and Wright can now b ... (read more)

'Vale Barry Humphries: The great comedian’s love affair with Weimar Germany' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 24 April 2023
Barry Humphries loved telling a story concerning a visit he and the painter David Hockney made to an art exhibition held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1991. What drew them there was a reconstruction of the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition the Nazis had assembled in Munich in 1937 to help validate and promote their racial ideology. The crude argument it promoted was that the ... (read more)

'Membra Jesu Nostri: Buxtehude’s ‘stairway to heaven’' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 05 April 2023
It was not so long ago that Dietrich Buxtehude (1637–1707) was best known in classical music circles for the fact that a young J.S. Bach once made a 400-kilometre trek on foot to the North German Hanseatic city of Lübeck to hear him improvise on the organ. But Buxtehude also left an impressive oeuvre of liturgical music. Chief among it are the seven short cantatas he composed in 1680 for Holy W ... (read more)

'Australian Youth Orchestra: A new work from Andrew Ford' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 19 December 2022
After a welcome return to something approaching a pre-Covid normal season of training camps and concerts, the Australian Youth Orchestra has finished the year with a grand public concert at the Melbourne Town Hall. Led by London-based Australian conductor – and AYO alumnus – Matthew Coorey, the program included another alumnus, Pei-Sian Ng, currently Principal Cellist of the Singapore Symphon ... (read more)

‘A Christmas Carol: A new adaptation of Dickens's classic’ by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 16 December 2022
1843 was quite the year in Christmas lore. It can boast both the first Christmas cards, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, and the first edition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Our passion for the former may have ebbed a little in the age of digital communication, but Dickens’s novella – albeit most commonly in one of its many theatrical adaptations – continues to draw our interest. M ... (read more)

'Music for the Sistine Chapel: The Rolling Stones of Renaissance music' by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 26 October 2022
Two sold-out concerts in the Melbourne Recital Centre by the London-based vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars will be music to the ears of Australia classical music promoters. Audience numbers may be returning to something close to pre-Covid levels. In this case, however, I suspect the box-office success also reflects the peculiar drawing power of The Tallis Scholars themselves. Founded by conduct ... (read more)

‘Peter Grimes: A magnificent new production of Britten’s opera’ by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 18 March 2022
Sadly, stage productions of Benjamin Britten and Montagu Slater’s opera Peter Grimes are now few and far between in Australia, notwithstanding the fact that the work’s exploration of psychological distress and social ostracisation has lost none of its currency. Britten’s score, while incorporating significant modernist musical elements, also remains both accessible and attractive. And Austra ... (read more)

‘Jonny spielt auf: Ernst Krenek’s timeless opera in Munich’ by Peter Tregear

ABR Arts 15 March 2022
Despite being one of the most successful and influential operas of all time, Ernst Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf (1926) is now something of a stage novelty. We are inclined to assume, perhaps, that the operatic genre it spawned, the Zeitoper, contained the seeds of its own obsolescence. As a new production at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich demonstrates, however, the work retains a capacity to sh ... (read more)
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